Hiring vs. Selecting

Hiring slow is the way to go. Hiring fast will never last
— Luke Crane

When I started working for Apple Retail, I went through 5 interviews. Yes… 5! Two group interviews, one 1 on 1 with a manager, one 1 on 1 with the store leader, and one 1 on 1 with the regional leader. All of that just to be on the sales floor. You can bet it made me feel like they put a large importance on their selection process! Later I found out that my group of 13 new hires were selected out of 200+ applicants. Wow I felt empowered!

Leaders will eventually have a need to expand or fill a role and will go on the search for a candidate for the position. Traditionally this has been call ‘hiring’. I was listening to a great book on the Ritz-Carlton hotels call “The New Gold Standard” and one of the things that impressed me was they don’t say the word hire… they select.

It got me thinking about the difference. When you hire someone, you are giving them a job. You are hoping that they can do that job based off your interviews and their qualifications. When you select someone, you have taken the time to weed through all possibilities. You have predetermined job qualifications in your mind and you use that to select the perfect person. It is a subtle nuance, but a powerful one. If you are still having trouble with the distinction, ask a friend or colleague to give you their emotional response to these two statements. 1. “I hired you to be a part of our team.” 2. “I selected you to be a part of our team.” I’m positive they will give different responses to each.

How do you view the hiring/selection process in your company?

If you are looking to change the culture of your hiring process, here is one step that can help create a culture of “selection” over “hiring.”

1 Step to Help Create a Selection Culture

Know your end goal.

If you are selecting someone for a position you must have a well thought out description of that position. This would include roles, responsibility, title, soft skills, hard skills, cultural fit, mindset, work ethic, temperament and energy needed.

A fantastic exercise is to create a job avatar. This is simply a detailed description of the exact person you are looking for in the role.

Example:

  • Jane has extensive experience in web based design and a portfolio that boasts 20+ examples of quality work.

  • She has her undergrad in design and hopes to get her masters soon.

  • She lives a balanced lifestyle of work and play, but doesn’t mind putting in the extra hours when a project is looming.

  • She is kind to others.

  • She is humble.

  • She has no problem taking charge of a project when needed and leading it to completion.

  • She is always on time with her delivery of projects, as well as consistently on time for meetings.

Feel free to get as detailed as needed on your avatar. Make sure you can picture the person in your mind. When you find someone that matches the qualities and characteristics you are looking for… SELECT THEM!!!


Filling an open role can be costly or rewarding. Many people have trouble when it comes to the hiring process. If you look back and see that this is not an area of strength for you, consider bringing in a Leadership Coach to help guide and clarify this for you. Click the link below to contact us about coaching.

New to leadership? Feel like you could use an introductory course to jumpstart your leadership? We developed New Leader Fundamentals for you! Click the link below to get a free trial.